April 2023: Ethiopia / Addis Ababa: Examples of concrete action

Examples show how compassion and concrete action change the situation of individuals

I accompanied Peter Bachmann almost daily during his two-month stay (January and February) in Addis Ababa at the small convent of the Franciscan nuns in Bole. I saw how attention to the living situation of many individuals, especially young women, can be completely transformed even with modest financial resources. This happened very often, almost daily. I have tangibly experienced the real “spirit of PBF” in the process.  Here I select a few examples that can illustrate this.

Micky and the electronics
Mikiyas Tadesse (29) has been with the Franciscan Sisters since early childhood and works there as a janitor. His parents were in the army and died in the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1999. Micky became an orphan and lived on the streets. Fortunately, the Franciscan Sisters of Bole took him in and gave him a home. As he grew up, they gave him more and new tasks in the sense of a janitor at a very modest salary.

While Micky worked as a caretaker, he successfully sought vocational training in various fields such as accounting, computers, and vehicle maintenance. He is currently pursuing his degree in accounting. I had the opportunity to get to know Micky intensively. During good conversations he showed us his great abilities, his feelings, his loneliness and his problems.

Since PBF always wants to support the weakest people in society, i.e. the underprivileged, orphans and the needy, the decision to support Micky in setting up “Micky Mobile and Computer Maintenance” was obvious.

Bethelhems opens its own flower shop
Bethelhem, now a 19-year-old young woman, met Peter Bachmann as a child when her mother was employed as a cleaning lady at the convent. Her mother showed me photos from that time. Bethlehem finished 12th grade, became a florist, and worked as a saleswoman in the flower store of a hotel. She was responsible for the whole family. Her parents had separated early. Together with her mother, she took over the upbringing of her two younger (step)brothers. The mother found little work outside the home, occasionally washing here and there and taking care of the small household. The family experienced a lot of suffering. Through Micky, the care taker, they learned that Peter Bachmann was again in Bole after a few years. Now it was decided to help Betelhem to open its own small flower store and thus continue and better care for the family.

Huluager now uses a loom
Huluager (25) works for a small income as a cook for the Franciscan Sisters. She is preparing for a bachelor’s degree in accounting.   In her spare time, she dabbles in weaving and tailoring. It takes Huluager a good month to make a tablecloth with embroidered decorations.  With her earnings, she pays her brother’s tuition.

Peter has recognized her living situation. With her own loom, Huluager can now expand her talents and earn enough money for herself and her brother.

Tamir sells chips on the street
Like Huluager, Tamir, a 26-year-old woman, also works at the Franciscan convent. She cleans the rooms and does laundry. Because of her difficult circumstances, she dropped out of school. Her earnings as a cleaner in the convent are not enough to support herself. She wants to finish school as soon as possible, but she is not able to do so.

Making and selling fast food and chips on the street can solve her problems. PBF financed a small machine to produce French fries. Tamir now makes a living from her own resources.

Getachew Sale

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